Freeman
Freeman

Bars are wonderful places, and they're staffed by more than just a Sam Malone from "Cheers" or whoever worked the taps at the Mos Eisley Cantina in "Star Wars."

I put myself through school working in a bar, and I'm still working in a few. It's a lot more than just pouring beers, flirting or cracking skulls. Today, we're talking about service industry workers that don't survive on tips. Certain employees make more money, work more and meet more, um, partners.

First off, owners foot the bills and in my experiences may be the most worthless person in the bar. Their opinion of what may or may not work usually doesn't. Owners change the d├ęcor to from the dingy old music posters and Magic Markered dollar bills that everybody loved to clean-cut Jimmy Buffet-looking crap that looks like it was designed by your cat lady aunt who's trying really hard to impress her imaginary knitting club. Owners sometimes raise drink prices by a quarter — which means a lot more math for bartenders, which means bartenders spend more time doing something besides making money.


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Managers, duh, manage the bar. They do just about everything: order booze, run social media, fix computers, hire, fire, re-hire, make schedules and try to figure out how to keep the place afloat. There are "fun managers" that might let you drink on the job, and there are "dickhead managers" that treat the staff like personal slaves and may charge you for the half a Red Bull you chugged because you worked a double.

Owners and managers will tell you when to close or how late to stay open, even if there's nobody coming in for drinks or their leechlike friends aren't leaving after closing time.

Depending on your bar's size or style, you might have a chef, who's generally everybody's favorite. He's the dude that will add extra everything to your employee meal. Most important, the chef will probably be your drug connection.

Next are most people's least favorite workers: security. Bouncers are the smashed bugs underneath the totem pole. Movies make this job seem a lot cooler than it actually is. Nearly 99 percent is doing absolutely nothing, unless you're allowed to get drunk and screw off with your bouncer friends — then the job can be really fun.

As a bouncer, you're standing, stopping fights, preventing fights, hoping that fights happen, getting into fights, talking to girls, checking IDs, charging covers (even when there isn't one) and other types of manual labor such as taking out garbage. Mostly just standing. Sitting if you're lucky.

Like I said, I've done most jobs, but there's one I never have and never will do: deejay. A deejay basically has the best job in the place. They don't deal with customers except for taking requests. (Here's a hint: If you want your song to get played, be a hot chick.) As long as the laptop, spinny things and electricity is working, deejays make their money because they don't work for tips. Pretty awesome. Even better, nobody gets hit on more than a deejay.

It's closing time for today. Tune in next week for bartenders, servers and a secret worker.

Read more Freeman: coloradodaily.com/columns. Stalk him: comfyconfines.wordpress.com